Goldenrod and the 4-H Stone – Goldenrod in Forest Park, St. Louis – Sufjan Stevens

The title of this blog post comes from the beautiful but heartbreakingly sad song “Casimir Pulaski Day” from Sufjan Steven’s Illinois, which in my opinion is his masterpiece. Having wandered through the goldenrod on Sunday, I can easily see how one might take these to a heavily burdened friend to brighten their day. Curiously, though, while I thought a quick Google search would tell me what a 4-H stone is, there is no obvious artifact to which this might refer other than one guess that perhaps it refers to different types of precious stones that 4-H leaders get for for certain numbers of years served in the organization.

At any rate, if you like Casimir Pulaski Day, you may enjoy more Sufjan. And I should note that much of his work is far more exuberant and energetic. My favorite albums of his in order are: Illinois, Seven Swans, and Michigan. Oh, and as the season is quickly approaching, I cannot forget to mention Songs for Christmas. There will be a moment this Winter when I will be driving in the dark and listen to this and weep and be joyful.

At any rate, that is a very long introduction to these pictures with goldenrod either in the foreground or background, which will hopefully make you joyful.

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Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things – Beauty Outside the Library – University City, Missouri

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins from “God’s Grandeur,” full poem here